Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 10:10

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The argument in these two verses is this: ‹The nations which I have subdued were professedly under the protection of idol gods. Yet those idols were not able to defend them - though stronger than the gods worshipped by Jerusalem and Samaria. And is there any probability, therefore, that the protection on which you who are Jews are leaning, will be able to deliver you?‘ Jerusalem he regarded as an idolatrous city, like others; and as all others had hitherto been unable to retard his movements, he inferred that it would be so with Jerusalem. This is, therefore, the confident boasting of “a man” who regarded himself as able to vanquish all “the gods” that the nations worshipped. The same confident boasting he uttered when he sent messengers to Hezekiah; 2 Kings 19:12: ‹Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my father destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden, which were in Thelasar?‘ Isaiah 36:18-20: ‹Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arphad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?‘

Hath found - That is, ‹I have found them unable to defend themselves by their trust in their idols, and have subdued them.‘

The kingdoms of the idols - The kingdoms that worship idols.

And whose graven images - That is, whose idols; or whose representations of the gods. The word properly signifies that which is hewn or cut out; and then the block of wood, or stone, that is carved into an image of the god. Here it, refers to the gods themselves, probably, as having been found to be impotent, though he supposed them to be more powerful that those of Jerusalem and Samaria.

Did excel - Hebrew, ‹More than Jerusalem,‘ where the inseperable preposition מ m is used to denote comparison. They were “more” to be dreaded; or more mighty than those of Jerusalem.Of Jerusalem - Jerusalem and Samaria had often been guilty of the worship of idols; and it is probable that Sennacherib regarded them as idolaters in the same sense as other nations. They had given occasion for this suspicion by their having often fallen into idolatrous habits; and the Assyrian monarch did not regard them as in any manner distinguished from surrounding nations. It is not improbable that he was aware that Jerusalem worshipped Yahweh (compare Isaiah 36:20); but he doubtless regarded Yahweh as a mere tutelary divinity - the special god of that land, as Baal, Ashtaroth, etc., were of the countries in which they were adored. For it was a common doctrine among ancient idolaters, that each nation had its special god; that the claims of that god were to be respected and regarded in that nation; and that thus all nations should worship their own gods undisturbed. Yahweh was thus regarded as the tutelary god of the Jewish nation. The sin of Sennacherib consisted in confounding Yahweh with false gods, and in then setting him at defiance. Isaiah 10:11Shall I not … - ‹Shall I not meet with the same success at Jerusalem that I have elsewhere? As I have overcome all others and as Jerusalem has no particular advantages; as the gods of other nations were more in number, and mightier than those of Jerusalem, and yet were unable to resist me; what is there in Jerusalem that can stay my progress?‘

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
See what a change sin made. The king of Assyria, in his pride, thought to act by his own will. The tyrants of the world are tools of Providence. God designs to correct his people for their hypocrisy, and bring them nearer to him; but is that Sennacherib's design? No; he designs to gratify his own covetousness and ambition. The Assyrian boasts what great things he has done to other nations, by his own policy and power. He knows not that it is God who makes him what he is, and puts the staff into his hand. He had done all this with ease; none moved the wing, or cried as birds do when their nests are rifled. Because he conquered Samaria, he thinks Jerusalem would fall of course. It was lamentable that Jerusalem should have set up graven images, and we cannot wonder that she was excelled in them by the heathen. But is it not equally foolish for Christians to emulate the people of the world in vanities, instead of keeping to things which are their special honour? For a tool to boast, or to strive against him that formed it, would not be more out of the way, than for Sennacherib to vaunt himself against Jehovah. When God brings his people into trouble, it is to bring sin to their remembrance, and humble them, and to awaken them to a sense of their duty; this must be the fruit, even the taking away of sin. When these points are gained by the affliction, it shall be removed in mercy. This attempt upon Zion and Jerusalem should come to nothing. God will be as a fire to consume the workers of iniquity, both soul and body. The desolation should be as when a standard-bearer fainteth, and those who follow are put to confusion. Who is able to stand before this great and holy Lord God?
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 352

The long-expected crisis finally came. The forces of Assyria, advancing from triumph to triumph, appeared in Judea. Confident of victory, the leaders divided their forces into two armies, one of which was to meet the Egyptian army to the southward, while the other was to besiege Jerusalem. PK 352.1

Judah's only hope was now in God. All possible help from Egypt had been cut off, and no other nations were near to lend a friendly hand. PK 352.2

The Assyrian officers, sure of the strength of their disciplined forces, arranged for a conference with the chief men of Judah, during which they insolently demanded the surrender of the city. This demand was accompanied by blasphemous revilings against the God of the Hebrews. Because of the weakness and apostasy of Israel and Judah, the name of God was no longer feared among the nations, but had become a subject for continual reproach. See Isaiah 52:5. PK 352.3

Read in context »